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Vanity fair? Recalling 'Bono-gate' at the 2014 Oscars

Colin Paterson

Arts and Entertainment correspondent

On March 2nd 2014 Russia moved troops into the Ukraine. The following day I was the subject of the editorial in the Daily Telegraph. The reason? At The Oscars I had shouted “Bono”. A lot.

I was reporting for BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast from the red carpet at Vanity Fair’s post Oscars Party (something I’ll be doing again this Monday). We had already spoken live with everyone from John Travolta to Sir Alex Ferguson, when Radio 4 asked if they could borrow me for five minutes.

Suddenly I was on the Today Programme giving my analysis of the night. Then the lead singer of U2 arrived.

On BBC Radio 5 live we are used to a bit of shouting. Less so on Radio 4. I informed listeners that Bono was walking by and proceeded to try and call him over. And again. And again. And again.

Now in my defence, after the first couple I did acknowledge on air that this was not traditional Radio 4 behaviour. I also thought it was pretty funny, so kept going. And going.

According to the Daily Telegraph “24 hours later many listeners’ toes remain stubbornly uncurled”. The Guardian went for “BBC man does a Partridge,” referencing the classic “Dan! Dan! Dan!” scene.

That had instantly come to my mind as well and who should arrive at the event half an hour later? None other than Steve Coogan, nominated for Philomena.

He offered the comforting words: “Live broadcasting means that everyone is subject to Partridgisms and those traps we can all fall into. You’ve got to watch your step,” before heading in to party with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise.

Here's the audio when I admitted what I had done, once I was safely back on 5 live:

The aftermath of what came to be known in the office as Bono-gate, included my post Oscars’ holiday being interrupted by an appearance on Radio 4’s Feedback. I had to defend my actions to an angry sounding Roger Bolton, as I sat in a Las Vegas radio studio wearing flip-flops, a sun hat and a Scotland top. David Morrissey Tweeted in a message of support making it more than worthwhile.

I still stand-by my shouting. It made a lot of people smile on a Monday morning and radio should be memorable. Bono was also a relevant person to talk to as U2 were nominated for their Mandela song and had performed.

Oh, and what people never point out is that it worked: thirty seconds later Bono came over to find out who had been doing all the shouting.

Colin Paterson will be hosting an hour-long Oscars preview show on Radio 5 live on Sunday at 21:00 and will be reporting live into 5 live Breakfast on Monday from 6am.

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